SpaceX is increasingly becoming a pioneer corporation when it comes to space explorations.
While Elon Musk’s company has achieved various feats, in the past few years, it is once again set to cross another milestone. In an interesting turn of events, Musk and Co are set to destroy a rocket in order to create solutions for safer space travel. You might find that strange to read. However, it’s way more intelligent and interesting. Read on to know more.
Why Is SpaceX Destroying A Rocket?
NASA astronauts are supposed to fly on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). Well, Elon Musk wants to ensure that the journey is as safe as possible.
For that, SpaceX will use a test known as IFA or In Flight Abort. 84 seconds into the flight, the engines of the spacecraft will shut down.
While trying to replicate the environmental implications of a normal launch, the rocket and capsule will take to the skies using a trajectory mimicking the flight path it would take as if it were going to the ISS. All will look normal until 84 seconds into the flight, when the Falcon 9 engines will shut down at roughly 19km (11.8 miles) above the Earth.
Immediately, the rocket-capsule launch system will be experiencing a Max Q. This is the moment aerodynamic pressure peaks and places the most mechanical stress on a rocket. (Okay, that’s too much science) At almost exactly that juncture, the Crew Dragon’s launch escape system should automatically trigger its SuperDraco thrusters. This will separate the capsule from the rocket and fly it out of harm’s way.
This experiment will make sure that when actual astronauts from NASA are sitting in the rocket, they can be rescued in case of any unforeseeable mishap.
The Competition Between SpaceX and Boeing
SpaceX and Boeing have long been vying to occupy the numero uno spot in sending manned vehicles into space.
It is also a key link in the larger strategy by NASA. Therein, the world’s premier space agency is seeking to outsource Low Earth Orbit activities to commercial operators.
NASA hopes that its partnership with these commercial firms will help it to focus its attention on scientific research and innovation.
For Elon Musk, it is part of his lifelong mission. The entrepreneur has always sought to send manned vehicles to Mars. A strategy wherein he can prove that humans have the capability to survive the most disastrous of crashes is integral in this plan of his. In fact, a closer corporation with NASA serves two prime benefits.
For one, SpaceX becomes the preferred choice. Secondly, they gain a competitive edge over their closest rival, Boeing.
It can only be said that if this is successful, it will be another milestone in human history and progress. The safety of astronauts has been the key impediment in the path of risky space missions. Let’s hope that this is achieved without any loss of life and investment.